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December 03, 1998 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-03

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168 The M igan Daily Weekend Mzne -Thursday Decembe. 1998

- - -------- ------------------- - -- - ...........

1 Weekend etc.

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

The problem with words, as I'm sure
you'll agree, is that anyone may use them.
Please don't misread this and con-
:lude that I'm advocating the repeal
:f the First Amendment. Quite the
:ontrary. I'm a firm and vocal believ-
r in free speech. And, more impor-
:ant, if the aforementioned
Amendment were removed from the
U.S. Constitution, nay column, I fear,
would soon be struck from these
:hleap-pegis of newsprint.
But I do believe - and this may
surprise those of you who generally
spend time in classes contemplating
your next beer - that people should
consider what they're going to say
before they say it. I've frequently
thought of campaiguing for linguistic
citations, which would be handed out
when certain standards of language
were ignored. (Who, you ask, would
determine these standards? What a
silly question. I would.) To draw an
example from thin air, a citation
would be given to anyone who feels
the need to describe publicly, in
detail, what certain people were
wearing at what time, how frequently,
and "God I can't believe she was
wearing that outfit again!"
The same goes foi people dis-
cussing the merits of Magic: The
Gathering within a hundred yards of
any person not involved in said dis-
cussion. (I'd like to take this opportu-
nity to point out that "The Gathering"
is an ironic title. If you don't under-
stand what I mean, I must point out,

sadly, that there's little hope for you.)
But what really inspired this col-
umn, beside the deadline, are the mul-
titudinous linguistic transgressions I
find in pub-
lished novels.
Instead of beat-
ing around the
bush, let me
come straight to<
the point: How ,
the hell do
these so-called
authors get
away with it? I
cannot help but
suspect that ANDREW
some of them MORTENSEN
have random Be; rtAS
word generators (boN [ ET
on their com- AN Y I)
puters, and,
when they want to write another
novel, they simply type in the desired
word count, run the program, and
send the resulting "manuscript" to
their comatose publishers.
The worst of it, as it seems to me,
is that these abominations frequently
turn out to be best-sellers. I have in
mind the books of one particular
author, whose name, in an effort to
keep her identity secret, I will not
reveal except in parentheses
(Danielle Steel). (Danielle Steel's)
novels sell at an astounding rate, and
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out
why. All of her novels, as far as I can
tell, are constructed of the same

story, but with the names of the char-
acters changed - and possibly the
setting has been moved from a large,
East Coast metropolis, to a large,
West Coast metropolis. (Danielle
Steel) churns out book after book,
sometimes releasing upwards of 10
new banal and formulaic tomes a
week. One of her recent efforts (I use
this term loosely), which she must
have spent at least ten hours working
on, is entitled "The Klone and I: A
High-Tech Love Story." Really. And
yet she's made millions of dollars.
Millions of dollars. I spent some
time over Thanksgiving considering
this, and I'm pleased to announce
that I've decided to get in on the
action. If the American people are
dense enough to pay millions for dol-
lars for (Danielle Steel's) writing, I
see no reason why they shouldn't pay
me similar amounts. I can write just
as poorly as she can.
And, in fact, I did, after having
relinquished all my linguistic values.
During Thanksgiving break, I began a
new novel, in a style I imagine to be
that of (Danielle Steel), including in
it all the elements I've determined
make a best-seller. These elements
are 1) sex, and 2) sex, not to mention
3) sex. The following is an excerpt
from my book:
Chapter One: The Characters Meet
and Have Sex. Frequently.
". .'Oh, Buck,' said Trixie, sur-
prised and pleased that Buck was
willing to show his love for her pub-
licly; and to show it here, in public,
no less! Never in all her life had she
had such an experience as she was
having now. She would later, much
later, look back on this time as the
happiest of her life. She ran her
hands over Buck's chiseled yet

strangely compassionate facial fea-
tures, lingering by his flaring nos-
trils, which, she would later, much
later, call the most attractive nostrils
she'd ever had the pleasure of
encountering.
"'Urp,' Buck said, belching into
her loving, caressing hands, thrilling
her in ways she'd never even imag-
ined."
Chapter Tvo: More of the Same.
". ..Oh, Buck,' Trixie said.
"'Urp,' said Buck."
Chapter Three: Things Heat Up!
"'Here?' Trixie asked in a hushed
voice. 'Now?' Buck nodded his prince-
ly, sculpted head, vapid, dreamy eyes
holding her captive. The vast emptiness
evident in those eyes shone on her like
a light from heaven, warming her,
quickening her pulse. She clung to his
arm, feeling the curious softness of his
rock-hard muscles through the silky
fabric of his finely crafted shirtsleeve.
Trixie looked at him and, confident that
he knew what was best, relented and
allowed him to visit the bathroom. His
princely bladder was filled to bursting,
so he said, and she had no reason to dis-
believe him.
"Later, much later, she would look
back and realize this was her first
mistake."
I can already fairly hear the cash
registers ringing up sales of my
novel even now. No doubt I'll be
asked to go on a promotional tour in
support of my record-breaking
sales. Movie deals are in the works
even as we speak.
What's that? The title? I dunno. I
was thinking of maybe something
along the lines of "Sex," or "Sex:
The Novel." At any rate, you may
rest assured that it will appeal to the
intellect.

SWING
Continued from Page 2e
everyone's there to share in the love
of dancing" said Tamres.
Though swing dancing is popular
today, its trend status leaves many to
wonder if it will stick around or
depart from public favor as quickly
as the New Kids on the Block.
"I think it will stay big for at least
another handful of years; Bohjanen
said. "It's a lot cooler than ballroom
dancing."
Filipiak agreed, but Tamres said
the trend would be short-lived.
"The mainstream phenomenon
will fade," she said. "However, there
will always be die-hard dancers who
need their swing fix.'
For students interested in swing
dancing, there are a variety of
options available. There are a multi-
tude of locations where already-
experienced swingers can exhibit
their moves, as well as many places
where newcomers can learn.
The Blind Pi on S. First St. offers
swing lessons on Sundays from 7:30
to 9 p.m., followed by open swing
dancing until midnight. The Habitat
Lounge in 'eber's inn, which is a
seven tol0 minute drive from cam-
pus, has Swank Night Mondays fea-
turing '50s and '60s tunes and era-
inspired clothing. The Heidelberg, on
N. Main St., has open dancing from
7 to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays with live
swing music from the II-V-I
Orchestra. At Swing Dance Jam,
located at Gretchen's House on
Traver Road, dancers swap swing
moves on Tuesdays from 7:30 -9:30
p.m. Swing City Dance Studio offers
swing lessons on Fridays, Saturdays
and Sundays. There are also swing
classes being offered through
UMove at the CCRB and through
UAC at the Union next term.
Full information on these venues
and others can be found on a master
list entitled "Swing Dancing In and
Around Ann Arbor," available at
Swing City Dance Studio.
Swing dancing may or may not be
a fleeting phase, but either way stu-
dents are enjoying it while it lasts.
"I swing dance whenever it's
offered," said Engineering first-year
student Matt Milas. "It's lots of fu
... you get to do a lot of cool moves,
show off, wear cool clothes" He
added with a smile. "There are usu-
ally more girls than guys, so it's a
good place to meet girls too."
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